Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bedtime Routines

Do you ever find yourself depleted of energy and patience at bedtime? I'm sure I'm not alone in my efforts to just stay calm until they lay their sweet little heads down for the night!
I have found it very helpful over the years to add little rituals and routines to bedtime. When it seems that bedtime is falling apart, I can shape things up pretty quickly by adding some structure. Through the use of a visual routine board i can give my children just what they need:safety through pictures and predictability! Imagine it as a "to do list" for kids. Since my daughter is older now, she helped me create a routine board at the beginning of the school year. Using my phone, she went through the house taking pictures of all the steps in her bedtime routine. I simply printed them out, laminated, added some Velcro and we were good to go!

Once we finish with the bedtime routine, we take some time to connect through loving rituals. Dr. Becky Bailey's "I Love You Rituals" have really helped me be more intentional about connecting with my kiddos at bedtime.

Recently, I told my daughter to be thinking about what ritual she wanted to do when I tucked her in bed that night. She told me she wanted to make up a new one. I was delighted and couldn't wait to see what she came up with!  Here is the little poem she made up and pictures of she and I doing the ritual together. 

The next time you find yourself at the end of the day just barely hanging on the the end of your rope, maybe you can try a fun little connecting ritual with your child.  It may be just what you need so you can both go to bed and rest a little bit easier!

"Gingerbread Goodnight Ritual"

Gingerbread, gingerbread
Tucked in bed.
Now lay down your sweet little head.

See the pictures below for step by step motions!